The guest from the future : Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin

by György Dalos

Other authorsAndrea Dunai (Contributor)
Hardcover, 1999




New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999.


In 1945 Isaiah Berlin, working for the British Foreign Office, met Anna Akhmatova in Leningrad. The brief time they spent together one long November evening was a transforming experience for both, and has become a cardinal moment in modern literary history.For Akhmatova, Berlin was a "guest from the future", her ideal reader outside the nightmare of Soviet life and a link with a lost Russian world. For Berlin, this "most memorable" meeting with the beautiful poet of genius was a spur to his ideas on liberty and on history. Akhmatova was convinced that her encounter with Berlin had inadvertently started the Cold War, but she remembered him gratefully and he inspired some of her finest poems.


Original language

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